Apple TV +’s The Mosquito Coast is a tourism saga for the deaf | Television / Streaming

Created by Neil Cross and Tom Bissell, “The Mosquito Coast” (available April 30) reinvents the contemporary family of minivan drivers as anti-capitalists whose American dream is to escape. After six different identities in nine years, the foxes live off the grid, collecting dietary fat for fuel, home-schooling their children, and hiding from authority figures they don’t trust. Their home is a happy California alternative with calm blues and sunny yellows, as long as the outside world doesn’t provide any cracks, such as with daughter Dina’s development of a relationship with a boy who goes against the rules. : no cell phone, no traces. Justin Theroux’s father, Allie Fox, is a brilliant mind who created a machine that turns fire into ice, a process shown to us in an elegant sequence inside the machine that features other shots from the director initial Rupert Wyatt. But because no one wants to invest in this product and he has to remain anonymous, he does duty on call at a food factory where his boss drives a sticky convertible and barely pays him. The house is being seized, according to some letters, Allie is trying to hide from her family. As much as Allie has tried to live her life serving no other master than her ego, so soon it ends. And then the cops show up.

There is an electric paranoia in the first two episodes of “The Mosquito Coast,” which director Wyatt accentuates with jaw-dropping wide shots of garbage, contrasted with a frenzied jaunt in the pilot episode. The show convinces us that it’s not the family that’s crazy, but the structures they’ve been trying to avoid for years; they are not anti-heroes who bend to the law when they need to, but rather free-spirited heroes. To protect this ideology, they go on the run and head to Mexico, seeking refuge with the help of a figure of the dark web known as Calaca. Theroux’s path with words and science becomes their guiding light out of sticky situations and ultimately to the frontier and above; The same is true of their stockpile of silver, which Allie uses as skillfully as any confident American capitalist. With a role that can be so valuable, Theroux at least conveys the intensity as someone who believes what he sells, while ignoring that he himself is actually a good salesperson who usually gives to others. a gross affair. And Theroux achieves a unique balance of being a TV version of a dad who knows everything, who can rig gears, electronics, and more, but does so with reckless stubbornness and mania.

In its conception of the family, “The Mosquito Coast” reproduces a classic formula of the nuclear family but without a strong sense of irony. Theroux’s dad will do something drastic, obedient son Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) will admire it, and generally the situation has Mother Margot (Melissa George) declaring intensely, which is the serious dramatic equivalent of l boredom from Marge Simpson. grumble, as if she was going to do something about this mess, but later. This ease in dynamics can turn the family into a kind of emotional porridge, which is why the daughter Dina (Logan Polish) is the most interesting character. From the start, she calls her father over his “Jim Jones bullshit” and questions the lifestyle of the family that nearly sabotaged him. And yet, there is still something programmed into her that makes her sound like her father when pressed by outside forces, spewing out paragraphs about how capitalism rejects those who don’t consume.

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